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Obesity Doesn’t Hurt … Until it Kills

On most mornings, before I start working, I spend 10-15 minutes playing fetch with Kody. As I’ve explained in Dogs, Dog Food, and Dogma (currently the #1 Hot New Release in its Amazon category, thanks to y’all), the evidence suggests that while exercise doesn’t play a huge role in reducing body fat, it does help build/maintain musculature. And […]

Real (Non-Millanian) Evidence That Exercise Will Improve Your Dog’s Behavior

Perhaps you’ve heard a little Mexican-American fella with a meticulously coiffed goatee and rollerblades tell you that the three fundaments of successfully managing unwanted canine behaviors are “exercise, discipline, and affection — in that order.” Well, if you’re reading this blog, chances are that you’re a bit more skeptical than the average bear.  If you’re […]

Maintaining Balance in Canine Muscular Development — Fast-Twitch, Slow-Twitch, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Speaking generally, your skeletal muscle fibers fall into two broad categories, Type I  and Type II.  Type I fibers commonly are called “slow-twitch,” Type II fibers usually are referred to as “fast-twitch,” and the colloquial monikers are pretty appropriate: the maximum contraction velocity of a slow-twitch fiber is significantly slower than that of a fast-twitch […]

Interval Training Works For Dogs Too (or Kiss Your “Packed Schedule” Excuses Goodbye)

Early this morning an article appeared in the New York Times, extolling the benefits of high-intensity interval training in light of new scientific findings suggesting that short, high-intensity interval workouts may boost cardiovascular fitness just as effectively as longer, more traditional cardio workouts.  The studies upon which the NYT commentary is based can be found […]

On The Difference Between “Reasons” and “Excuses”

We prove what we want to prove, and the real difficulty is to know what we want to prove. – Emile Auguste Chartier Is today the first time you’ve thought that your dog would be happier and healthier if she lost some weight? Probably not. If you’ve read this blog before (somewhat unlikely) or if […]

Learning to Take Pleasure In Being Your Dog’s Play Buddy-Drill Sargeant

No profit grows where is no pleasure taken; in brief, sir, study what you most affect. — William Shakespeare If your overweight dog is ever going to get back into shape, you’ll have to play several different (but equally critical) roles throughout the process. On one level, you’re going to be a general.  This one […]

Why Dog Exercise? — Part One: The Top Five Reasons Your Dog Needs Exercise

Is it so intuitive that dogs need (or even want) exercise? We don’t worry ourselves with seeing to it that our pet fish swim laps every morning.  Pastured animals don’t run laps around their fields.  And, to casual observers, many dogs seem perfectly content to lounge lazily on a couch all day. Even if we […]

Why The Varsity Report Matters — The 2011 Pet Blogger Challenge

2011 Pet Blogger Challenge As part of its on-going effort to raise awareness about the importance of pet fitness, health, and wellness topics, Varsity Pets is proud to announce that we have joined the Second Annual Pet Blogger Challenge.  The Pet Blogger Challenge is an initiative through which pet industry bloggers candidly expose their goals, […]

How to Use Dog Strength Training to Avoid Joint Injuries

[Like this post? Want to learn more about how to keep your dog healthy and happy? Check out Dogs, Dog Food, and Dogma, my book from Present Tense Press. Kirkus Reviews calls it “remarkable,” “eye-opening,” “scandalous,” and “impressive.”] — Joint injuries are all too common in certain dog breeds.  Be they of the ligament, tendon, […]